Thunder Cool Jazz
The Thunder opened the NBA restart to dominating the Utah Jazz 110-94. In a game that had no lead changes or ties, Oklahoma City was able to build a 20-9 lead and never look back.
The three most significant factors in making this contest one-sided were getting to the free-throw line, forcing 14 turnovers and shooting 53 percent from the field.
Billy Donovan says, "The first half I was really pleased."... "I thought we did a nice job.".. "I thought we played with really good energy we played together."..."I thought our defensive pursuit and help was really really good."..."We moved the ball and generated good shots."
While you couldn't have asked for a better restart to the season, there are some areas of concern. Donavon says the Thunder were "carless" turning the ball over 21 times some of those leading to Jazz fast break opportunities.
He also thought the offense was "stagnant" in the second half, as Oklahoma City was outscored in the second 24 minutes 52-44. A bright spot for the Thunder off the bench was Hamidou Diallo.
Diallo scored nine points in 20 minutes of action. One of Diallo's best plays came in the second quarter when he forced Jordan Clarkson into a double dribble on an attempt to drive the lane.
Donovan praised Diallo's performance saying, "he was on the glass he got to the rim; he had a blocked shot defensively."..."I thought Hammi [Diallo] and Darius [Bazley] coming off the bench gave us a boost."
The Thunder improves to 41-24 on the season. Oklahoma City sits a half-game behind the Jazz for the fourth seed in the Western Conference. Up next, it's the Nuggets Monday at 3:00 on 97.1 The Sports Animal.
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With more than 20 years of experience hosting local and national radio shows, Erik Gee is a fixture of Oklahoma sports media. He has covered the Oklahoma City Thunder for the past six seasons. He is also the co-host of the Pat Jones show on 97.1 The Sports Animal in Tulsa.